Constantly exhausted? Get pangs of unhappiness and dissatisfaction for no apparent reason? The regular experiencing of these symptoms might signal that you experience subclinical depression (1). Having subclinical depression means that you’re practically on the brink of depression and a gentle nudge will push you over.
It takes only two weeks straight of experiencing symptoms of subclinical depression for it to turn into major depressive disorder or MDD (2). In that case, feelings of guilt, sadness, and hopelessness might set in. You may also face sleeping as well as concentration issues along with thoughts of committing suicide. This the major reason why you shouldn’t take the very first symptoms of subclinical depression lightly. The sooner you seek help, the better off you’ll be.
In fact, getting treated for subclinical depression is much easier now. You need not even visit your doctor or have antidepressants! Or even go through long sessions of psychotherapy, as certain studies might suggest (3). Simple and regular sessions of “mindfulness meditation” can do wonders in treating subclinical depression and restoring your mental health back to normal! At least, that’s what a new study says.
Why Mindfulness Meditation Is The Perfect Treatment For Subclinical Depression
Recently, a new study from Hong Kong proved that mindfulness meditation is a great cure for the symptoms of subclinical depression. The study was conducted by Dr. Samuel Y.S. Wong who belongs to the Chinese University’s Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care. In his study, he discovered that mindfulness meditation not only treats subclinical depression but also prevents major depression (4).
To prove that mindfulness meditation can be instrumental in treating patients of subclinical depression, the study analyzed 231 adults who showed symptoms of subclinical depression. The participants were taken from a total of sixteen clinics – all based in Hong Kong. The participants were then sectioned into 2 groups of 115 and 116 people respectively. The group with 115 people were made to practice weekly sessions of mindfulness meditation, with each session lasting for 2 hours. The group with 116 people were accorded general care minus the use of any psychological methods. The study lasted for a total of 12 months.
After the end of a year of each group receiving their respective treatments, the researchers found that those who practiced mindfulness meditation experienced reduced symptoms of subclinical depression. Their symptoms not only decreased as compared to before but they also performed better than the group who received general care (5).
What’s more, the chances of suffering from major depressive disorder were also significantly reduced in the group that took part in weekly sessions of mindfulness meditation. Stats from the study show that only 10.8% of the participants of the meditation group got MDD as compared to 26.8% of those participants that received general care.
That’s not the only benefit of mindfulness meditation. Dr. Wong suggests that meditation of this kind can also help patients who have generalized anxiety disorder. That’s why, he strongly recommends practicing mindfulness meditation so individuals can save themselves from the horrors of depression, anxiety, and other related mental disorders.
Mindfulness meditation might seem difficult at first to practice. But with the guidance of professionals and patience, it can turn into a habit that can actually save your life. Hence, you should make an attempt to take some time out for yourself every single day. A time that you can spend in quiet contemplation, all alone with yourself. Doing this on a regular basis can help you become calmer and less stressed or bogged down by the pressures of the world. Besides, meditation can also help you achieve some balance and harmony in your life.
Science also backs up the benefits meditation has to offer. Notable among them include a reduction in anxiety, better emotional health, more self-awareness, increased attention span, better memory, a kinder spirit and nature as well as the ability to quit addictions. That’s not all! If you have sleeping troubles, meditation can cure them too and even help you control the level of pain you feel! A decrease in your blood pressure levels is another added benefit of meditation.
With so many life-enhancing benefits, practicing mindfulness meditation should be a top priority for you in your hectic life. If you’re deterred by the cost of guided meditation sessions from professionals, don’t be. Plenty of free meditation apps on both iOS and Android mobile platforms are available for you to download and practice. Moreover, YouTube also features several videos on how to practice mindfulness meditation sessions on your own. So, you can try those too!
The best part about meditation is that you can do it anywhere – from your cramped office cubicle to your spacious bedroom. You don’t need to be in a special place like the gym for exercising. So, be sure to take some time to meditate and keep depression at bay!